There’s no escaping it – a microphone left switched-on in Gordon Brown’s campaign car caught him making a remark about a woman voter who had confronted him on his trail through Rochdale. According to the Daily Politics he referred to the woman as “bigoted”, presumably in relation to her views on immigration. That’s hard to verify because the news snippet only showed the Prime Minster doing his “list” routine in response to questions about health, education and the rest.
It’s going to be a blow for the Labour campaign, because as we know the television and newspaper election is one that concentrates on hairstyles, smiles and how much you can make someone stutter with a question. The Daily Politics has made quite a concerted effort to run special policy-analysis debates (today’s features health), but these are not providing the stories of the day. What has made the polls yo-yo up and down has been showmanship and gaffs. This gaff will cost the Prime Minister and the Labour campaign dearly for a few days in the last week up to the election as it is dissected in great detail by a stream of Tory bloggers, Twittered by twits and given a likely front page by the Daily Mail.
In short it will bury more policy.